Did I Meet You In 2016? A Year in Review #NewYearsEve #WeekendBlogShare

Hello Lovely Readers – Did we meet in 2016?

On this New Year’s Eve: My 2016 year in review

I think many folks will be looking back at 2016 and wondering what it all meant to them. I’ve handpicked some of the highlights for me.

meet-ups

In April I had a planned meet up in Glasgow with Barb Taub, Cathy Ryan and Alison Williams. These lovely ladies are all part of my review team. Barb is an author and her blog posts are just the best to entertain you. Cathy is a book reviewer and her book reviews are extremely popular, check out her blog here. Alison is an author and editor, check out her rates and recommendations from satisfied customers.

In June I went to the Bloggers Bash in London and met lots of faces from social media. Sacha Black, Ali Isaac, Hugh Roberts and Geoff Le Pard are the bash organisers. It was the second year of this event and if you can get to London easily and want to meet a variety of bloggers and network, this annual event is a great opportunity. Next year’s date is June 10th, more details here. I chatted with Shelley Wilson, Christina Philippou, Mary Smith, Lucy Mitchell (Blondewritemore), Sarah Hardy and Suzi from Suzi Speaks, the founder of #SundayBlogShare.

Shelley is a very inspirational blogger and author, splitting her work between fantasy and non-fiction self help. I’m thrilled that she will be running a four week guest series on ways to motivate yourself here on the blog every Wednesday this January.

In August had I an enforced two weeks off as I was required to do jury service, not something I wanted to attend, but you can’t wriggle out of it very easily these days. However is was interesting to see how the system works, how strict it all felt and how sad that the case I had, ever came to court. On a positive note, whilst in Guildford I made a renewed contact with Christina Philippou and this lead to me attending her book launch in September.

At Christina’s book launch for her debut novel (Lost In Static), I met Neats from the Haphazardous Hippo ( lilac Hippo) a book blogger who lives near by and we met Chris’ publisher Matthew from Urbane Publications. This is small up and coming publisher check it out here.

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My links with Chris and Neats took me to a Blogger/author meet up in London. Event organisers; Kim Nash @kimthebookworm and Holly Martin @hollymartin00  run these events alternating between London and Birmingham. This was a fun afternoon with a mix of authors and book bloggers all chatting in a relaxed atmosphere. I particularly enjoyed chatting to; Author Jessica Norrie, Book bloggers Susan Hampson, Anne Williams and  Jo Robertson, authors Barbara Copperthwait,  Jan Brigden and Steven Hayward

Another day I met book reviewer Liz Lloyd for an Autumn walk around a local village.

Late November Neats invited me to a book launch. We spent a Saturday afternoon in Farnham meeting author Kristen Bailey as she launched book #2 of her contemporary women’s fiction  “Second Helpings”. We also networked and by chance met another Urban Publication’s author Shirley Golden.

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December saw me heading to Leicester to meet Lizzie Lamb, June Kearns, Adrienne Vaughan, Margaret Cullingford and several other members at their monthly RNA meeting. Lizzie, June, Adrienne and Margaret are also know an the New Romantics Four. With me came author, reviewer and Twitter Queen Terry Tyler, Cathy Ryan, Shelley Wilson, and Proofreader Julia Gibbs. It was great to meet Terry’s sister Julia, who was recently on the TV quiz show Pointless. If you need recommended help with copy editing or proofreading do check out her site here.  In the evening we met with authors Mark Barry and Georgia Rose. Mark runs workshops in schools encouraging reluctant readers to pick up books and Georgia has been a guest speaker for Mark, she also runs her own self publishing workshops.

The 2016 Goodreads Reading Challenge tells me I’ve read 175 books this year, however I’ve also beta read 4 books and have read others which aren’t yet on Goodreads, this bumps the number up a little.

What am I going to do next year? Perhaps I’ll meet you. I plan to go out and meet lots more authors and bloggers, nothing beats a face to face meeting.

I’d like to wish all my readers and reviewers a very Happy New Year.

Here are useful Twitter handles of people I’ve met this year.

@barbtaub

@CathyRy

@AlisonW_Editor

@sacha_black

@aliisaac_

@HughRoberts05

@geofflepard

@ShelleyWilson72

@CPhilippou123

@urbanepub

@marysmithwriter

@Blondewritemore

@sarahhardy681

@suzie81blog

@lilac_hippo

@KimTheBookworm

@hollymartin00

@jessica_Norrie

@susanhampsom57

@Williams13Anne

@jocatrobinson

@BCopperthwait

@JanBrigden

@stevieboyh

@LizanneLloyd

@baileyforce6

@shirl1001

@lizzie_lamb

@june_kearns

@adrienneauthor

@CullingfordMags

@newromantics4

@TerryTyler4

@ProofreadJulia

@GreenWizard62

@GeorgiaRoseBook

@rosieamber1

10 Things For #BookBloggers To Do During a Thunderstorm @CPhilippou123 @Urbanepub @lilac_hippo

Mad cows and …… no wait, perhaps it’s just me, the mad book blogger, who heads out when the sky is black and the thunder is rumbling.

10 things to do in a thunderstorm 

  1. Attend a book launch preferably before the storm really hits, then you have a new book to read.
  2. Read the book you got at the book launch, who can sleep through all that thunder?
  3. If the power fails, read by torchlight.
  4. Be too scared to get out of bed until the last minute even though you really, really need to pee
  5. Try to pee in the dark, as you are afraid to pull the light switch, hoping the lightening will show you the way, easier for women than men to pee in the dark.
  6. Brave the madness to make sure all your book blogging social networking is “saved” in case the storm knocks out the power.
  7. Consider using the hours you are awake during the storm to mentally draft up a blog post for the next day.
  8. Contact all your friends via social media who might also be awake and have a chat about the storm.
  9. Try putting in your ear phones and listening to music to drown out the noise.
  10. Get a drink and a snack and watch the lightening show.

And now back to the book launch.

Last evening I went along to The WeySide pub in Guildford (yes the sky was indeed black and the thunder rumbling)  to the book launch of Christina Philippou’s debut novel LOST IN STATIC a gritty tale set in a university. There I met Chris’s book publisher Matthew from Urbane Publications who was happy to talk about the work he does with authors, a genuine great guy I was pleased to hear that he has worked on getting Chris’s book placed in several book stores, Waterstones being one of them.

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I also met a fellow book blogger Neats Wilson from the Haphazardous Hippo blog do go check out her blog, a voracious reader, she described her reading likes as eclectic. @lilac_hippo

Neats

If you missed my review of Lost In Static earlier this week here is a reminder.

Lost In Static is a gritty contemporary drama set in an English university. The main characters are four first year students and we follow their lives from beginning to end of that first year.

Ruby is a tom boy, and a huge football fan, she plays in the uni football team, she’s quiet and insecure at times, but popular.

Juliette is running away from home-life and its restrictions. A chain smoker from a strong religious upbringing, uni gives her an opportunity to push new boundaries.

Callum is the good looking one, but has his own secrets.

Yasmine; cold and callous, ready to use anyone for her greater good and will stop at nothing to get her own way.

As the students meet each other in their shared halls of residence, opinions are formed, friendships made, enemies engaged all with a heavy dose of drinking. Callum likes Ruby, Ruby is friends with Juliette, Yasmine hates Juliette, wants Callum and is jeolous of Ruby.

The book opens with one of these students being taken away in an ambulance after a serious accident. Divisions within the group have been split wide, but why? The story then turns back to the first day of term so that we, the reader, can learn of events which lead to the accident. It is built up in delicious layers where we are drip fed snippets and clues, so we too can build our own opinions.

Each student’s side of the story is cleverly told; Ruby’s narrative includes lots of internal dialogue, emphasising her lack of confidence. Callum tells us his version via e-mails to a secret contact. Juliette uses the fourth wall method of speaking to the reader, while Yasemine’s side is told through well known narrative.

The different POV’s are refreshing and move the story at just the right pace, I enjoyed seeing the slight differences in how events happened with each telling, just like any real-life perception of an event.

An excellent debut novel, showing a great strength of writing and could easily be enjoyed by a wide range of readers, although I wouldn’t recommend reading this just before letting go of your precious offspring for their first year at uni, leave it a couple of weeks at least!

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Matthew, Chris & Rosie

Matthew, Chris & Rosie

LOST IN STATIC by Christina Philippou @CPhilippou123 #TuesdayBookBlog Gritty student drama

Lost in StaticLost in Static by Christina Philippou
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lost In Static is a gritty contemporary drama set in an English university. The main characters are four first year students and we follow their lives from beginning to end of that first year.

Ruby is a tom boy, and a huge football fan, she plays in the uni football team, she’s quiet and insecure at times, but popular.

Juliette is running away from home-life and its restrictions. A chain smoker from a strong religious upbringing, uni gives her an opportunity to push new boundaries.

Callum is the good looking one, but has his own secrets.

Yasmine; cold and callous, ready to use anyone for her greater good and will stop at nothing to get her own way.

As the students meet each other in their shared halls of residence, opinions are formed, friendships made, enemies engaged all with a heavy dose of drinking. Callum likes Ruby, Ruby is friends with Juliette, Yasmine hates Juliette, wants Callum and is jeolous of Ruby.

The book opens with one of these students being taken away in an ambulance after a serious accident. Divisions within the group have been split wide, but why? The story then turns back to the first day of term so that we, the reader, can learn of events which lead to the accident. It is built up in delicious layers where we are drip fed snippets and clues, so we too can build our own opinions.

Each student’s side of the story is cleverly told; Ruby’s narrative includes lots of internal dialogue, emphasising her lack of confidence. Callum tells us his version via e-mails to a secret contact. Juliette uses the fourth wall method of speaking to the reader, while Yasemine’s side is told through well known narrative.

The different POV’s are refreshing and move the story at just the right pace, I enjoyed seeing the slight differences in how events happened with each telling, just like any real-life perception of an event.

An excellent debut novel, showing a great strength of writing and could easily be enjoyed by a wide range of readers, although I wouldn’t recommend reading this just before letting go of your precious offspring for their first year at uni, leave it a couple of weeks at least!

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com due for release Thursday September 15th.

View all my reviews on Goodreads